Fall is perhaps the most beautiful time of year to be in the great outdoors. The haze and humidity of summer have departed, leaving behind crystal clear blue skies and cool breezes. As the temperatures steadily drop, the green hues of summer give way to glorious shades of gold, orange and red. This year, before the leaves fall, consider traveling around our great state to soak in as much of autumn’s glory as you can. Here is a guide to peak times for viewing fall foliage in Ohio, along with some suggestions for where you can get your fall fix.
When: End of 2nd full week of October
Where: Ashtabula County
The extreme northeast corner of Ohio is one of the best places to view fall leaves. Try driving south on SR 534 from Geneva to Windsor. You’ll be rewarded with miles of vineyards as well as two of the county’s 17 covered bridges en route. Other scenic routes include SR 84 east from Madison to Ashtabula and SR 307 from SR 528 to Jefferson.
Where: Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Ohio’s only national park, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, is located between Cleveland and Akron and boasts some of the best displays of nature in our region. Autumn is no exception. Wherever you drive through the 33,000-acre park, you’ll see bursts of color. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources lists SR 303 (which bisects the park) as one of the best fall foliage drives in the Buckeye state.
Where: Ohio Amish country
Why not combine your fall foliage viewing with a visit to the largest Amish settlement in the United States? Amish country in northern Ohio is bustling with activity during the autumn months. Follow your beautiful drive with a meal in an Amish home or restaurant and some shopping at a local flea market. Find a schedule of events in this beautiful region of Ohio here: http://www.fallinamishcountry.com
When: End of 3rd full week of October
Where: Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park
Battelle Darby Creek features more than 7,000 acres of forest, prairies and wetlands. It stretches along 13 miles of the Big and Little Darby creeks, both State and National Scenic Rivers. Besides the scenic areas surrounding the creeks, there are also over 1,600 acres of restored wetlands and prairies. Bison have been reintroduced to the park and roam freely within two enclosed pastures. The park is open to visitors from 6:30am to 10pm April through September and 6:30am to 8pm October through March.
Where: Deer Creek State Park
Just a short, scenic drive from Columbus is Deer Creek State Park, a favorite local retreat that offers camping, golfing, boating, hiking, and more. Relax lakeside or hike wooded trails as you take in a wide array of fall colors. The park also offers a lodge and fun autumn events for families, such as trick or treating at the campgrounds. Find out more at http://www.deercreekstateparklodge.com.
When: Toward the end of October
Where: Hocking Hills State Park
Probably the premier place on most Ohioans’ minds when it comes to viewing fall foliage, Hocking Hills State Park offers caves, waterfalls, and an abundance of secluded cabins for honeymooners or families. If you’re among the fearless, you can view fall foliage from a zip line tour through the treetops. Find out everything this southeastern Ohio attraction has to offer at http://hockinghills.com